Abby Scharf (middle) surrounded by her family and coaches after signing her letter of intent to play college basketball at Black Hawk College.
By BLAKE FAITH
Mt. Zion girls basketball senior Abby Scharf has signed her letter of intent and will continue her basketball career at Black Hawk College.
Scharf was a three-year varsity starter for the team. In her senior year, she was named captain and was responsible for leading the team, guarding the best opposing player every night and setting the example for players to buy into the new direction of the program under Head coach Steve Marvel.
Coach Marvel said that Scharf was a great mentor to the younger players and was an outstanding teammate. Coach Marvel saw the most development from her as a leader and mentor, but she learned that she was a more versatile player other than being a shooter.
“I told her, I needed her to be an all around player,” Coach Marvel said. “ I needed her to drive, I needed her to make good decisions, make passes and do that and to be one of my best defenders, if not my best defender. And now she really grew in those roles, and I think she started attacking the rim a lot better. Defensively, she always got the toughest toughest kid to guard on the other team regardless of position and always accepted that challenge. So I’m just really pleased with her role there and her growth there as a player and you know, and recognizing she had far more versatility and value than I think she recognized that she did.“
Coach Marvel went on to say that Scharf’s understanding of his principles, the culture he wanted to bring to the Mt. Zion program and her leadership by example was critical.
“Scharf was a three year starter, obviously, and has been valued part of the of the program, across coaches, cross styles of play and the fact that that she adjusted, was successful,” Coach Marvel said. “What she did in the role she took on and she did a good job of. I think another legacy is it just in practice, the leadership she showed, in practice what and what she did, as a captain off the court. Not just mentoring younger players, but being there for them coming to me with concerns, and things that were going on, and she would come to me and discuss with me and really did things that help benefit her teammates that they may not always even have been aware of.”
Scharf chose Black Hawk College, because she loved everything about the school including the culture and energy Scharf’s goal is to find her role on her new team and do what she can for the team. Scharf will get her associates in science at Black Hawk College and then get her bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s in psychology.
Scharf will always remember and cherish two things about her playing career at Mt. Zion. One of those is that she got to play with all of the seniors her sophomore year and win a regional title. The other is getting the opportunity to play and learn from Coach Marvel, Coach Minton and Coach Fox.
Coach Marvel’s last words of advice to Scharf will be to always believe in herself, always play with the intensity and effort regardless of the situation in the game and treat every game like it’s her last.
“She (Scharf) has got to believe in herself as much as her coaches have believed in her and her coaches where she’s going to believe in her,” Coach Marvel said. “They have a good role picked out for her that she can be successful in. She has to believe in herself and has to always play with intensity and effort and recognize that she can make a difference, even if her shot may not be falling, defensively, rebounding and assisting. And that’s how she needs to play all the time. To play like that could be your last game, always, and you never know what may happen. So always play and always appreciate the game and play like it’s the last time you’re gonna be on the court.”